Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
A police officer enforcing lockdown regulations has been arrested for allegedly stealing $450 from a man who had accompanied his aunt to see a doctor, but did not have a pass allowing him to come into town.
Morgan Fusire (34), who is stationed at Harare Central Police Station, is said to have also stripped Tafadzwa Mutevere (23) before assaulting him with a baton as he lay on the ground. Fusire yesterday appeared in court before magistrate Mr Richard Ramaboa facing charges of criminal abuse of duty, alternatively extortion. He was granted $500 bail and was ordered not to interfere with State witnesses.
He will be back in court on June 4 for his routine remand. Prosecuting, Mr George Manokore alleged that on Tuesday, Mutevere accompanied his aunt on the bus since she wished to visit a doctor at Morris Depot Camp Clinic as she had a knee injury.
When they got into the city centre, Mutevere was asked by his aunt to proceed to buy groceries at OK Third Street while she proceeded to Morris Depot. They agreed to meet at a bus stop so they could board a bus together back home. After buying the groceries, Mutevere started walking towards the bus stop at the intersection of Enterprise Road and Samora Machel Avenue. Along the way, he was stopped by Fusire who was manning a roadblock and enforcing lockdown regulations.
According to the State, Fusire was in the company of a soldier who was standing at a distance. Fusire asked Mutevere where he was coming from and he explained to him, but he insisted that he produces a pass allowing him to get into the city centre.
Fusire then ordered Mutevere to remove all his belongings from his pockets before instructing him to take off his shoes and trousers and then lie on the ground. Fusire hit the prone man on the back with a baton before ordering him to stand up. He then handcuffed him on the pretext that he was taking him to Harare Central Police Station and allegedly asked for a bribe.
At this point, the soldier is said to have intervened and told Fusire to let Mutevere go, but he would not listen. Mutevere reportedly told Fusire that the money and groceries he had were for his aunt. Fusire then took $450 and freed Mutevere.
When he got to the bus stop, Mutevere narrated his ordeal to his aunt and he was told to go back and get the money.
But Fusire would only give him $270.
Mutevere’s aunt followed her nephew and when Fusire saw her, he jumped into a vehicle and sped off, prompting the aunt to contact the officer-in-charge Commercial Crime Unit (CCU). Investigations led to Fusire’s arrest.